It was raining this morning when I carried out a pail of hot ashes. For a moment, I stood in the cold rain, looking at the village below, its few lights blurry through the mist that creeps in on these early winter mornings.
Like just about everyone I know, we’re home — the three of us — for this holiday, with not much more planned than cooking and walking and hanging out in our warm house, with the walls I painted the color of daffodils.
It’s the strangest time, for sure. Decades into my life, I know this, too, will pass. My daughters — ages 21 and 15 — will someday decades hence look back at this time. I imagine they’ll remember this holiday as a time when so many relinquished their own desires for the health of the whole.
So much in 2020 was not as usual, so it’s fitting, I think, that the holiday season starts this way, too. In past years, we’ve had a huge Thanksgiving table, or we’ve traveled, or sometimes it’s simply been our family. But this year, perhaps, draws out the quieter, deeper meaning of this holiday.
So, of all the many things I’m grateful for, I’m grateful that we can endure the pandemic together, the three of us. Around us, I know, as my daughters know, there’s so many eating alone today, separate, but lending their energy toward better community health, even in a cold rain.
I thank thee God, that I have lived
In this great world and known its many joys:
The songs of birds, the strongest sweet scent of hay,
And cooling breezes in the secret dusk…
— Elizabeth Craven